If we understand Great Lent as the abstinence from lack of love, and not just from butter, then it will be a bright fast and its period will be the “joyful time of Lent”.
“O Lord, plant in me the root of all goodness, the fear of Thee in my heart”.
Lack of love is the most terrible inabstinence for it is the first and original abuse of the Holy Spirit. Apostle Paul wrote: “I beg you through the love of the Spirit” (Romans 15:30).
Love is contrasted with pride and rage. According to St Irenaeus of Lyons, in the evening prayer we ask the Holy Spirit, the Creator of the World, to forgive us first of all those sins that were committed against love: “or grieved anyone, or have become angry about anything; or have lied, or slept needlessly, or if a beggar hath come to me and I disdained him; or if I have grieved my brother, or have quarreled, or have condemned anyone; or if I have been boastful, or prideful, or angry; if I have thought evil, seen the beauty of an! other and been wounded thereby in my heart; if I have said improper things, or derided my brother’s sin when mine own sins are countless”.